North Carolina is one of a handful of states where hunting with hounds is a legal method to take wild game, and hunting hogs with dogs is the most-effective and foolproof way to provide the makings of a pig-picking.

Hunting hogs with dogs is unlike any other hunting strategy that involves dogs. With most game species, hunters employ a dog or a group of dogs; each of the dogs participating will have the same duties. Hog hunters use two different types of dogs: a tracking or bay dog and a catch dog.

Most hog hunters in North Carolina use Plott hounds, Walker hounds, and sometimes curs to track down hogs and get them cornered. Bay dogs are released around food sources or any places with fresh hog sign. The dogs will pick up their scent, then trail and track the hogs, which are tough animals and will not typically run very far, if at all, from the dogs in pursuit.

Hogs are not known for their speed or distance running, and at some point, they will stop and fight off their pursuers. The bay dogs will start howling, alerting hunters to their location, and it is not until then that the dog handlers bring in the catch dog.

Catch dogs are the meanest and toughest dogs around. The best typically used for catching hogs are pit bulls or American bulldogs. The dog handlers will head to where the bay dogs have the hog cornered, then release the catch dogs to hold the hog down until the hunters can dispatch them.

Hunting with dogs can be an exciting way to hunt hogs, and it is considered an effective way to gain control of a group of hogs on a property. However, hogs will quickly become educated on properties where hog hunting with hounds is a commonplace. They will adapt to the disturbance and keep running from the dogs in the fashion of a deer — except that hogs lack the endurance and will stop eventually.